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19.1.16

How to have a forest adventure

Step number one: be a fan of rainforests. Check. 
Some people love the beach, others could spend all weekend in the city, and there are those who prefer the serenity of rural paddocks with lakes. I would live either in, or around a forest if I could and spend every moment I could hanging around in it. Fill it with natural wildlife (minus creepy spiders please and thank you) and a waterfall and we have my calm space of complete happiness. What can I say? I'm a huge nature-lover. 

I'm sure many of us agree that an adventure isn't really, one unless you're venturing somewhere that isn't located just a 20-minute drive away. (Even though anything can classify as an adventure, the best ones require further travel and exploration of new places.) Somewhere you wouldn't normally go, but wish you could. If you're bored and itching to get out, or it's your birthday, and you want to do something a little more exciting, then the forest is a must. 

The best part? Wherever you are in the world, there will almost always be a national park or reserve with a forest. You don't need to live out in the middle of nowhere in the UK to have a forest. All you need is Google and your nearest Ranges national park. For Melbournians, that's either the Dandenong Ranges or the Yarra Ranges.
It still counts even if there is a pathway, maps and it's a tourist attraction, okay? It still counts. Have an open mind, when you live in suburbia, you can't win them all so any forest, is a great forest. 

Once you have the destination planned it's time to get exploring
As I headed into the forest with my cameras (yes multiple, photographer life) locked and loaded, excitement washed over me. The first few minutes won't be as exciting, the forest thins out as it ends. But the build-up is what's worth it. It's cooler in the middle, and the trees grow dense. Branches bend toward the light and create tunnels. It smells fresh, and you feel like an adventurer already. What's even better, is that the forest is much too big to explore at once. Saving the best for later days. 
The first part of the forest explored. Check that off the bucket list. Oh, yeah!

Grab a friend for company, or simply take yourself.

There isn't anything wrong with going on your forest adventure alone, as I've stated before, and I had originally planned to go alone. But if you miraculously have a friend who is wanting to tag along on your adventure, well, that isn't bad either, and can be more fun.  

Wear good shoes, take fresh water, make sure your polaroid camera is loaded and your bag isn't too heavy.

While taking snaps is a great way to document your adventure, don't forget to take a look around with your own eyes. 

Take plenty of rest stops and breathe that fresh air. 

Don't let yourself get too tired before your time. It's okay time will wait. Especially, in this place.
My problems felt so tiny, as I leaned over the barrier to peer into the trees. Birds rustled in the distance and at one point, a dozen Kookaburras began laughing all at once. Just in case, you forgot you were no longer in the city, they figured they'd remind you. 

Although a pathway, stairs, and balconies may very well be in place, and anyone around you may have one goal in mind - fitness, take the time to slow down. While people come huffing and puffing down the pathway, music in ears, they're not entirely focused on their adventure. Their goal might be to get to the top, but they aren't enjoying the journey. 

So with that said, enjoy your journey. 

If you don't get to the top (I sure as hell didn't) at least you'll be soaking in the sights, making your adventure worth it. Slow down, girl. Try to find where that rustling in the trees is coming from (probably a cute bird.) Try to spot wildlife and listen as a trickle of water dances through the rocks down on the forest floor. 

The point of having your adventure is to actually, have it. Even if you're sweaty (yes) tired (yes) and ready to head back down now (oh, yes), don't let those thoughts cloud you. 
Just remember, once you're home. You're home. Who knows when you'll get your next adventure time? 

More photos coming soon to the portfolio.
Some may even be produced as art prints.
Photos by Sheree Grace
-Sheree
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